October is finally here! The year is slowly coming to an end, while our Women's Wednesday surely is not: with today's guest, Hippo, we have officially reached the 53rd Mulier Clara - meaning we now stand exactly in the middle of the 106 women included in Boccaccio's work. Cheers!
Speaking of Hippo, not much is known of her - as Boccaccio himself testifies. The one deed that made her famous, however, is a great act of courage and pride. The girl, in fact, was once kidnapped by an enemy fleet because of her beauty. As she was abducted, Hippo overheard her captors while they were discussing how to rape her. Preferring a sure death to such humiliation, Hippo managed to elude the men and committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea. Tossed by the waves, her body arrived at the shores of Erythrae, in modern Turkey, and the inhabitants decided to bury her; when they later discovered her origins and the cause of her death, the Erythraeans finally erected a marvelous tomb in her name.
“Hippo”, illumination from the manuscript “Livre des femmes nobles et renommees”, ms. Français 598, f. 83r, 1403, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Paris.